It is often hard to explain to people that dishwashers actually cost more to produce than a washing machine most often. This strikes many people as being strange but, when you think about it, there's as many moving parts in a dishwasher as there is in a washing machine. However, in the case of a dishwasher, they are generally smaller and more tightly compacted together and this pushes up the price.
Then, on any decent dishwasher, you have a very high grade stainless steel interior tub which is again, not cheap. Some are made from plastic and you get all the waffle about them being quieter etc. but it's just done that way so it's cheaper.
There are several different flavours that dishwashers come it, freestanding dishwashers, slimline dishwashers (45cm wide) and their built-in and integrated cousins. For the most part built in and what we refer to as "semi-integrated" are all but vanished from the market now.
A good performing dishwasher will perform a better wash on almost all items than washing at the sink and, surprisingly, use less water than handwashing. It is also more hygienic by a long, long way than handwashing.
Like washing machines and almost any other appliance though you get what you pay for to a large degree. Buy a cheap one and it can be a total heartache in both performance and reliability but, buy a good one and it's one of the best appliances in the kitchen.
The retailers that we advise to use here do what they say on the tin and they all have a proven track record with us, that's why we use them. However, it is always far better if you can, to use a local independent retailer for tailored advice.
For more information see also our Dishwasher Buying Guide
Often choosing where you buy can be just as important as what you buy, let us explain a little.
We occasionally get asked why we don't push or recommend the large electrical superstores like Currys, Comet and the likes, well it really is very simple, we don't think that they do the job properly or offer people good information about appliances.
The short of it is that these people sell boxes and they don't appear to care what's inside the boxes so long as they make a profit on it, can sell you insurance on it and possibly squeeze a finance deal out you as well. To them, you are a number, a ring on the till and nothing more, independent retailers differ massively as they rely on customers returning, superstores don't really seem to care if you come back or not.
Don't believe that? Think that these people offer super duper low prices? Just look through the forums and try to spot how many independent retailers we get complaints about, it's almost always complaints about internet sellers and superstores! But it was cheap.
Then we have the old chestnut of product knowledge, let's just say that most of the chains fall down here, badly.
We do provide some links to the chain stores and we do use John Lewis as we don't get any complaints about their service or support, but as top rated retailer for service you would hope not. We also use the Co-Op because, well we like them and their ethical way of doing business as well as the level of care given, so again no problems. As we all know, a few pounds here or there is no odds to get a good service and most people would rather the better service than save a trivial amount of money.
If you buy goods based solely on price that's fine, if nothing goes wrong, but, if it does go wrong then you could be in a world of trouble that really, you shouldn't have to deal with.
This is budget territory and there's loads in here that seem a good deal, but really they're not that brilliant. Don't expect outstanding performance or reliability in this price bracket at all and any machines under £200-250 are mostly pretty much rubbish and very often made cheaply in China. It's really hard to sort the the wheat from the chaff in this area of the market but, we'll do out best.
If you're really, really pushed and on a budget then the cheapest dishwasher we'd advise is this Beko dishwasher with the catchy title of DSFN1530W but for not a lot more you can have a Zanussi ADF2020 with a better basket layout and, arguably, better aftersales support.
This is the cheapest Bosch dishwasher we'd recommend, okay so it's probably made in Spain by Balay and only carries the Bosch name but, to be fair, they are not bad machines on the whole just don't expect miracles in terms of performance or longevity. But with a AAA rating and a half load option it's not bad at about £300 for a 12 place setting dishwasher but really, although it's nothing special it will do the job if not as well as many more expensive machines. It's also worth noting that, for the extra you also gain an extra year's warranty on the Bosch as well.
Further up the ranges and, to be honest, you really either get a whole bunch of features as you see on this Bosch dishwasher that you'll probably never use or, pretty much a clone of one of the ones we've already pointed out as decent buys. And, if you go this far, you'd be as well sacraficing the funky things that you will likely never use to get one that's better built.
As you would expect the words "best" and "cheap" are, usual, mutually exclusive. That is to say that if you want the best in terms of performance and longevity then you have to invest more in your new dishwasher to start with.
Until the new ISE10 dishwasher is introduced late in 2011, the best you can get is a Miele. It's not cheap and they are not cheap to repair but, they are extremely well built and should last over a decade very easily, most will see 15-20 years of normal use quite comfortably.
The entry level Miele full size, 12 place setting dishwasher is the G1022W available from the Co-Op here who are surprisingly cheaper than John Lewis for the same dishwasher. It's a nice machine, if not very stylish but then the Germans tend to focus on Teutonic efficiency as opposed to fancy design, more function and not so heavy on form. However this approach pays off in some ways as it's harder to break them.
You also get a simplicity that only the Germans and Swedes seem able to do well so, six programs but oh so simple to use. And, this extends to things like the basket design and cutlery baskets, it's just well thought out and exquisitely designed. With all models in this price range it is the little niceties, the care and thoughtful design that pays off and, to a large extent, what you are paying that little extra for.
Of course if you really must have the current "top dog" of domestic dishwashers then it has to the the Miele G5720SC which is by no means cheap, but very good. But you can save on it, like £272 off the SRP and cheaper than John Lewis by using this link to it on the Co-Op.
Because there's not too many of these we'll cover this in one simple section for easy browsing. Yet again as the price rises then so does the quality as a general rule and, if it were our choice we'd buy the Miele or Smeg every time but it's not our money, it's yours.
A Nice little slimline from Bosch and not too expensive either and, due to that, forget it being made in Germany. It may have a German name but it sure ain't a German built dishwasher at this price. However you do get a two year warranty as standard and these machines are not known to cause much trouble at all.
Good energy and wash performance ratings, not so great on drying as it's done by residual heat and not fan drying as you get on more expensive models and this means that it likely takes longer. Reasonably quiet as well but no glass care or delicates program available.
The basket layout also looks pretty neat and the top basket can be adjusted for height, so fairly flexible.
So far as slimline dishwashers go this is just about as good as you're going to get. Outstanding performance and options as well as being probably the best built slimline in the world but, it comes at a price.
We actually don't think that any model above this is worth the extra money, it would add little in the way of features and on a slimline dishwasher we really can't see any call for much more than you get here for considerably less cash. The next two up the range are however integrated and so, if you need a door on the front to match your kitchen then these would be the preferred choice.
Integrated means the price ramps up a bit and this is fundamentally due to two things, the first is that you sell less and so lower volumes means higher costs and secondly, they are more "fussy" to produce with lots of extra bits to fix the doors on them.
Our choice as it's as good as the normal Miele slimline dishwasher but with a door on the front. More info and buy a Miele G4570SCVi Integrated Slimline Dishwasher from John Lewis
Or, for a cheaper alternative there's the Smeg DI4510 Slimline Integrated Dishwasher but, to be quite honest, this Zanussi slimline dishwasher is just as good, has a better basket layout and it's about £200 cheaper. Why bother with the Smeg as no-one will see the name anyway and the Smeg certainly isn't £200 worth better in our opinion.
There are only two of any note that are worth buying in this category, one from Zanussi, the ZSF2450 compact dishwasher and the Bosch SKS60E02GB (so catchy a designation) and we wouldn't bother looking at the rest.
The Bosch is pretty funky as you can get it in white, silver, black and also now red and yellow as well but some of the colours carry a hefty premium.
It is also worth noting that Which? Magazine recommended the Bosch's older siblings as a "Best Buy", we wouldn't disagree with that or expect this one to be anything but that.
Both are good performers and both will last some time. We know that there's options available from the likes of Currys that are a lot cheaper but they almost invariably come from China and, when they do fail which is often after not too long, they are landfill as parts are nigh on impossible to get. We cannot recommend any of these as they are, in our opinion, just cheap junk.
Bear in mind that with a compact dishwasher you cannot use dishwasher tablets, you must use normal dishwasher powder or liquid detergent.
We have a page dedicated to the most recent discount codes that we get and you can find them all on this page